The Literary Horizon: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs


Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman


From the kid who brought you Fargo Rock City — the first book in history to garner the praise of Stephen King, David Byrne, Donna Gaines, Sebastian Bach, Jonathan Lethem, and Rivers Cuomo — comes Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs — the first book in history to examine breakfast cereal, reality television, tribute bands, Internet porn, serial killers, and the Dixie Chicks.

Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman — with an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and a seemingly effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter. Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry of the 1980s, Chuck will make you think, he’ll make you laugh, and he’ll drive you insane — usually all at once.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about movies, sports, television, music, books, video games, and kittens…but, really, it’s about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, “In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever ‘in and of itself.'”

via the publisher’s website

Sometimes I forget some people think pop culture isn’t worth analysis. Well, actually, all of the time—this is a book blog, I’m a devotee of The A. V. Club, and I’m from fandom. The very phrase “it’s just a movie!” makes me want to breathe fire. (I should just learn at this point, right?) So Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, which I understand to be many people’s introduction to the wonderful world of pop culture analysis, just makes sense.

Heather at Book Addiction enjoyed it, although she points out some of the subject matter is dated. Jess at Start Narrative Here finds Klosterman infuriating and overbearing. Softdrink at Fizzy Thoughts loved it, especially an essay on math. Angela at Books Under Skin finds herself constantly rereading it and loving it.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was published on July 22nd, 2003.

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